dear selfie-taker

I have been frustrated for some time with this whole selfie-culture we are entering; there is someone in my life, … that posts pictures almost daily of herself; these aren’t simply random, quick selfies. These are posed, perfected, photoshopped selfies. These are carefully planned, strategically executed, intentionally shared pictures of herself looking beautiful as always.  And, each and every time she posts these pictures, she receives like after like after like, comment upon comment. It makes me sad.  It makes me sad because there is so much more to her than her appearance.  She offers so much more to the world than a pretty face.

But, it doesn’t stop. Ever.  I wrote this in one of my moments of frustration with her.  I write angry not only at her but at the world that makes this the seemingly only acceptable way to receive attention and affirmation.  I write this out of sadness that we have been confined to the beauty on the outside, rather than the beauty on the inside.

I have been debating  posting this and I am thankful to know she doesn’t read my blog. Someday, perhaps I will have the courage to talk to her about her selfie-addiction. For now, I will write.  I will write what I wish I could say.

masks-we-wear-300x225

Poem Inspired By the Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

dear selfie-taker:

dear:
beautiful
gorgeous
twenty-something
girl
who posts selfies of herself
almost daily,
posing strategically,
photoshopped subtly,
thirsting for compliments,
facebook likes,
and attention,
please
I beg you
to
stop.

stop
being so
concerned
with
your outward beauty;
it makes me
worry
about your inward beauty,
if it’s there at all.

isn’t there
more
to celebrate than
your beautiful
blue
eyes
and
the fact
that you’ve
broken world records
with the number of pictures you take of yourself.

it makes me
worry
what you
do
in your free time;
with all the time you
waste
perfecting the
“oh I just happened to look this way today…” pose,
how do you have
time
to care more for others
and less
for yourself?

i wish you knew
how ugly
it makes
you seem
to be
so
self-absorbed.

i wish you knew
the impact
you have
on young girls who look
up
to
you.

i see a young girl
dressing herself up
for a roles she isn’t ready for.
drenched in
makeup
thirsty for attention
hoping
for
any
one
to
see her.

don’t you see? that we can’t see you
through
all those filters.

so,
wouldn’t you rather be praised for
your wisdom,
your kindness,
your truth,
your impact,
your thoughtfulness,
your hope
your grace,
than how beautiful
you appear in
a selfie?

wouldn’t you rather
teach young
girls
to be known for
who
they
are
and not how they appear?

i wish
you would grow up.

you are hungry for attention
and it screams out
in every photo
you post.
i wish you could
see
what i see.

i wonder
how big
the void is
that you are trying
to
fill.
i wonder how
vast
the
sadness
that envelopes you,
that causes you to root
yourself in
meaningless things.

and i am sad for you.

i
want
you
to know
that…

it
doesn’t
interest
me
how clear your skin is,
how bright your eyes are,
how pretty your face is;
i want to know if you like the person
who looks back at you
in the mirror.

it
doesn’t
interest
me
how many facebook likes you acquire,
how many Instagram followers you have,
how many comments you receive;
i want to know how many people you impact
or how many lives you save
or how you work to better this world
without notice or attention,
without ever receiving recognition.

it
doesn’t
interest
me
how perfect you appear,
how sexy you might be,
how exposed you’ve become;
i want to know if you like the parts of you
that no one knows,
that no one else
sees.

it
doesn’t
interest
me
that you think you are outwardly beautiful;
i want to know if you can truly
say you are beautiful
at the
core
of
you.

it
doesn’t
interest
me
that you are confident in your physical appearance and want
others to notice;
i want to know
if you are confident in your decisions, your relationships, your dreams.
i want to know if you are confident that
you will leave this world
better than you found it.

dear selfie-taker,
i hope you can
spend
less
time
focusing on your appearance
and asking
others to do the same
and rather
focus your time on energy
on meaningful things
on life-giving things
on world-changing things
and less on
your
self(ie).

Advertisements

One thought on “dear selfie-taker

  1. I’ve been thinking about this poem a lot lately. My friends take selfies and snapchat *all* the time, and it’s starting to really bug me. I hate that all our pictures with each other are shots that include our arms and just the top halves of us . . . never pictures of the actual moment.

    I’m also really tired of people living “in snapchat mode” where they do things they never would normally do in “real life” but since they see that a friend has their phone out, they hope someone will take a video/picture and post it for attention.

    Blah. Maybe I’ll write my own post about this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s